As Google's need for data centers grows, the company is looking for new ways to keep its carbon footprint in check. Its next project will repurpose the Widows Creek Fossil Plant in Alabama by building a new data center and using the existing power infrastructure to bring renewable energy into the facility.
Operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority since the 1950s, Widows Creek is scheduled for shutdown due to changes in EPA regulations for greenhouse gases. Google, one of the largest corporate renewable energy purchasers, intends to supply the Widows Creek site with 100% clean power. The data center will also continue to employ energy efficiency strategies to reduce demand.
“We’ve built our own super-efficient servers, invented more effective ways to cool our data centers, and use advanced machine learning to squeeze more out of every watt of power we consume. Compared to five years ago, we now get 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of energy,” notes Patrick Gammons, Senior Manager of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy.